Man arrested after video shows profanity-laced tirade against TTC bus driver

Toronto police and the TTC are investigating a video that surfaced online showing a man verbally abusing a bus driver with racist language.

Toronto police have made an arrest after a 30-minute video was uploaded to YouTube documenting a profanity-laced tirade against a TTC bus driver.

The account Boss President uploaded the video on Sept. 6, showing a man berating a Black female driver outside her 125 Drewry bus.

In an update Tuesday night, police said the driver was trying to reposition the vehicle before allowing passengers to board, when a man “ran across the intersection and started to punch the bus and began yelling and swearing at the driver to open the doors.”

In the video, the angry man references the woman’s “slave owners” and suggests she won’t let him on the bus because she’s racist.

“Tell this b**** to open the door,” the man in the video says. “She’s not a lady. She’s a racist piece of s***.”

Roughly four minutes in, a bystander approaches the man and tries to calm him down. Eventually, she mentions that he’s being racist.

“She won’t let me on the bus. I’m a taxpayer for 25 years,” he repeats. “You guys are all going on YouTube, bro.”

After several minutes of repeated insults, the bus driver opens the door and lets the man on. She can be seen in the driver’s seat behind a bus shield for protection. He eventually exits the bus after the driver indicates it’s out of service and continues denigrating the woman by calling her a “monkey” and a “w****.”

The video ends with the man walking away from the idle bus.

On Tuesday night, police announced an arrest.

Paul Sampalean, 38, of Toronto is facing charges of mischief, intimidation and causing a disturbance.

He’s scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday morning.

TTC spokesperson Stuart Green tells CityNews 680 that officials are shocked by the video, calling the man’s behaviour and treatment of the bus driver appalling.

“The safety of our employees and customers is our top priority at all times, and we work closely with our Union partners to make sure employees are safe at all times while on the job,” Green said. “This includes initiatives like the recent re-design of the bus shield to provide bus operators with enhanced protection.”

Union president speaks out

Marvin Alfred, the President of ATU Local 13, representing over 12,000 public transit workers, lamented the public attack, calling it “racist, misogynistic abuse.”

“Our member was just doing her job when she was verbally assaulted and threatened by a member of the public. This is profoundly unacceptable,” Alfred said in a statement. “Our members are on the frontlines, and they are entitled to the same standard of safety and security as all workers.”

The union president called on Toronto police and the TTC to do “everything in their power and jurisdiction to ensure that criminal, racist, and misogynistic behaviour towards transit workers be met with real and substantial consequences.”

“We demand that the assailant be charged criminally and permanently banned from access to the TTC,” Alfred continued.

“All Torontonians should feel safe and welcome on the TTC. Actions such as those depicted in the footage should forfeit an individual’s right to access public transit. No worker, whether serving public transit or otherwise, should have to deal with this type of abuse in their place of work.”

Alfred said he’s concerned by the lack of response and support from the TTC’s management, claiming no resources were made available to the woman as she endured the tirade.

“Our member has indicated to us that this was a troubling and unfortunate incident for her. She feels that no one should be subjected to this criminal and offensive behaviour,” Alfred said.

“She has requested respect for her privacy as she tries to move forward with her work as an operator.”

Green said the TTC’s head of bus operations “was in direct contact with the operator as soon as he was made aware of the incident to express concern and support.”

“The operator has been offered all available peer and counselling resources if she wants or needs those,” he said, further adding that the TTC is looking into its response after the driver contacted them on the day of the incident.

“We do know there was an injury at track level at Sheppard West Station at the same time with first response resources in the area deployed to that incident, including monitoring station crowding and managing bus shuttles.”

“However, we continue to assess what we could have done differently to assist this operator during the incident.”

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today